Object of the Day

Cocktail Party

The photograph of this party was taken during the 1950s,  but we need more information.

Backyard cocktail party
Backyard cocktail party

We know one man pictured is R. J. Tomford– but where is he in this photo?  Can you identify anyone else?

Did this party take place at Mr. Tomford’s house or somewhere else?  Can you tell us the location?

What kind of gathering was this–a party amongst friends & neighbors? Perhaps they were celebrating a special occasion?

If you have any information or memories from this party, then please share with us in the comments section!


  • Bill Fall

    Mr Tomford was a police man on the Pacific side. He and his wife had two “special needs” boys. Dennis is sitting second from right and his brother is standing first from right. Mr Tomford is standing behind the fellow sitting with the dark tie. I don’t remember what his wife looked like. They lived near us in Gallivan Area in the 50 and early 60s. This is not their house, but a newer one they might have moved to or it is someone else’s. It is possibly a retirement party for him?? The others are probably CZ police officers and their wives. This may be in the late 1960s or early 1970s. I never saw more devoted parents. I remember the boys used to love to swim in the Balboa Pool and go to the movies at the Balboa Theater. I worked in both locations.

  • Tom Stoakley

    L-R: Walter McBride, In front of him, Helen Kat, in front of Helen Kat, Mrs. McBride, ??, ??, Elsie Woodruff, ?? John McDowell, Elsie McDowell, Kathleen Filo, Eddie Filo, Dick Tomford, Bernard “Bernie” Kelleher, ??, Lambert Kat, ??, Richard Tomford. Seated ??, ??, Mrs. Tomford, ??, Dennis Tomford, ??.
    This was probably on the patio at their house on Empire Street in Balboa. John & Elsie McDowell lived across the street from the Tomford’s in a similar cottage. Many of the men were C.Z. Policemen who worked with Dick Tomford, while others were probably co-workers of Mrs. Tomford. The Kat’s were neighbors who lived on Croton Street a block away.

  • Laurie McBride Hazelip

    Great memories Bill & Tom. The woman two down from my Mom was Dorothy Bitter (Helen Tomford’s sister) with Charlie Bitter standing right behind her. Man could she cook. Made the very best empanadas. We spent a lot of time with both families. I saw the Tomfords on one of my trips to Tampa to visit Mom after Dad passed away. Dick looked the same, but bless her heart, she was in the final stages of ALS. My heart broke. Standing next to Richard Tomford was Gene Hermany.. This was definitely the “Old Guard” of the Canal Zone Police. P.S. Helen & Dick would be so very proud to know that so many people remember their boys..

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